PE0286. THE NAUGHTY PRINCESS (Charles Cuvillier & Andre Bard), recorded 1920, w.John Ansell Cond. Adelphi Theatre Ensemble; George Grossmith, Lily St John, Amy Augarde, Strafford Moss, Ivy Connor, etc. (England) Palaeophonics 145, w.Elaborate 'The Play' 20pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Adelphi Theatre 1920 production & biographies. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm English Columbia rarities.
"THE NAUGHTY PRINCESS is an opéra bouffe with music by Charles Cuvillier, book by J. Hastings Turner, and lyrics by Adrian Ross. The work, adapted from LA REINE JOYEUSE by Cuvillier and Andre Barde, depicts a princess with very modern ideas, who rebels against arranged marriage and court etiquette. It was first produced in London in 1920 under the management of George Grossmith, Jr. and Edward Laurillard at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 7 October 1920, and ran until 28 May 1921 - 280 performances.
THE OBSERVER praised Grossmith's subtlety of performance, but thought 'Mr. Cuvillier's music will make the play go, Mr. Berry's humour will make the play go, Miss Lily St. John's clear voice, and her delightful embarrassment at the applause she gets, will make the play go - and the setting and the costumes were thought tremendously fine'. THE TIMES praised the production 'As a riot of fantastic colour it was one of the most exhilarating that we have seen on the London stage for a long time'. Of the music, the paper commented, 'The official label of THE NAUGHTY PRINCESS is opéra bouffe. Now and again certainly Cuvillier's music seemed to justify the description. The waltz song and its Egyptian splendours will carry it far'."
"A gentleman farmer with a love of Edwardian and early Twentieth Century music has created a home industry of preserving early Musical and Revue scores as recorded on 78 and cylinder, the latter of which he is certainly a specialist. It is an impressive list of shows that Dominic Combe has digitalised and issued on Compact Disc. Not only is it the recordings but the lovingly created books that attach.
Early theatre recordings abound in Great Britain, more so than in the United States where it took them some time to start recording original cast material. And so, many early scores are available to be heard. But what Dominic discovered when he started assembling these scores was that often latter day British 78 and cylinder record collectors turned their noses up on recordings of dance music or covers and 'best of' or 'gems' making them hard to find. And, it is those recordings which can often contain songs not otherwise recorded. He has built strong connections with other collectors willing to lend material to make each issue as complete as possible.
Modern equipment and an aptitude for perfection have helped Dominic 'clean up' old 78 and cylinder records to deliver a sound quality that can be stunning. The booklets are produced with as much care by using original theatre programmes or magazines such as PLAY PICTORIAL and MUSIC FOR ALL so that the listener can get a good idea of how the show looked as well as to see the unique art work used to advertise the show back then.
Dominic has issued over fifty of these gems and still has titles either being completed or awaiting to be started on. The label is called PALAEOPHONICS."
- y phayward, OVERTURES: The Bunnet-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust, 10 July, 2017